The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.
Please see below the key dates for businesses being able to reopen as they currently stand:
Step 1: 8th March
Step 1 will start with schools on 8 March, and include some further limited changes on 29 March to allow families to meet outdoors as most schools break up for the Easter holidays. By the time Step 1 begins, those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable (JCVI cohorts 1 to 4) will have received protection from their first dose of the vaccine.
Step 2: No earlier than the 12 April
- Some premises will be able to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups: non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers, salons and close contact services; and indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3).
- Overnight stays away from home in this country will be permitted and self-contained accommodation – those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities – can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household.
- The Government will open public buildings such as libraries and community centres.
- Activities such as driving tests may also resume.
- The majority of outdoor settings and attractions can also reopen, including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances events. The rules on social contact outdoors will apply in these settings.
- Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.
- All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken
Step 3: No earlier than 17th May
- In Step 3, all but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits. Sectors which will reopen.
- Indoor hospitality, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain;
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas;
- Indoor entertainment, such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas;
- Remaining accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs;
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes
- Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events. Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower. The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower. At this step, weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events including wakes can proceed with up to 30 attendees. A broader range of stand-alone life events will also be permitted at this step, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
Step 4: No earlier than 21st June
- Reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs and enable large events, including theatre performances, above the Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme
- Remove all limits on weddings and other life events, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme.
Please click on the link below to see the full COVID-19 Spring 2021 response as outlined by central government on Monday 22 February: